I’m so excited to share another Mix & Match recipe with you guys today! We love stuffed peppers in this house – such a simple and nourishing meal that’s also really versatile – perfect for mixing and matching fillings to meet whatever flavors you’re craving.
The process is so simple – just cook veggies and protein, add a grain and seasoning, spoon into pepper halves, and bake until tender. You can also prep and fill them in advance and then bake the peppers during the week for an even faster meal!
Mix + Match Stuffed Peppers
Step 1: Saute Onions & Garlic
I always start stuffed pepper filling with 1 chopped onion and 2 cloves of garlic because it’s the perfect base for any flavorings. Just cook the onion and garlic over medium-high heat with a quick drizzle of olive oil until the onion is translucent!
Step 2: Add Protein
Once the onion and garlic are soft, add your protein to the pan. Some of our staples are roughly 1 pound of ground meat (turkey, chicken, or beef), 2 cups of pulled rotisserie chicken, 1 package of crumbled tempeh, or a drained 15-oz can of beans. Feel free to combine proteins, too; if you end up with a little extra filling, stuff it in a wrap for lunch, or serve atop greens! If you’re starting with raw meat like ground turkey, be sure to cook until browned and mostly cooked through – otherwise just stir it in quickly to combine with the onions and garlic.
Step 3: Add Grains
Adding whole grains to the filling makes these stuffed peppers a full meal with a balance of protein, fiber, and veggies to keep you satisfied. I typically use brown rice or quinoa because they’re easy to find pre-cooked, so I can save time and just toss them into the pan once the protein is added, but feel free to mix it up!
Step 4: Add Seasoning
Here’s where your stuffed peppers get taken to the next level! Spices, canned tomatoes, herbs, etc. go a long way in creating distinct flavors, so feel free to play around with seasonings based on what you’re craving. Add seasonings to the pan after the protein and grains, then toss to combine. Here are my top three ways to season stuffed peppers:
1 cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes + 2 teaspoons italian seasoning + 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil + salt & pepper to taste
1 cup salsa + 2 teaspoons each chili powder, ground cumin, and smoked paprika + 2 green onions, chopped + salt & pepper to taste
1 cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes + 1 tsp dried oregano + 1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives + 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley + salt & pepper to taste
Step 5: Fill pepper halves & bake
Once you’ve added seasoning, the filling is done! It’s time to spoon the filling into peppers and bake. If you prefer a higher pepper-to-filling ratio, stand peppers upright to slice the tops off and remove the seeds, then fill four whole peppers. I prefer a higher filling-to-pepper ratio (because that means more surface area for melting cheese, obviously), so I like to cut peppers in half length-wise and heap the filling into four pepper halves.
After your peppers are filled and arranged in a baking dish, you can either refrigerate overnight and cook the next day, or, if you’re ready to go, cover the top of the pan with foil and bake the peppers at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until the peppers are tender.
Step 6 (optional): Top with cheese!
If you want to, now’s the time to top the peppers with cheese – and just about any type will do. Add the cheese on top of the filling and bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted.
Is your mouth watering yet? It’s probably time to make a batch of stuffed peppers! The great thing about stuffed peppers is that they’re so flexible. You can fill them with whatever you have in the fridge. And if you’re in need of a fast dinner and don’t care if the pepper isn’t soft, you can always just fill a raw pepper with the warm, cooked filling and eat it immediately if you want. 😉
Here are three of my favorite combinations:
Pulled Chicken + Chickpeas + Quinoa + Greek-Inspired Seasoning + Feta Cheese
Crumbled Tempeh + Black Beans + Quinoa + Mexican-Inspired Seasoning + Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Ground Turkey + Brown Rice + Italian-Inspired Seasoning + Sliced Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Are you a stuffed pepper fan? What’s your favorite combination?
Enjoy, and be sure to check out my other simple Mix & Match recipe posts, too!